How many naps a day should my four month old be taking?

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Tameka - posted on 05/16/2010

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Hi Michelle,
I've become the unofficial baby sleep expert since both my girls are terrible sleepers. I've picked the brains of all the health professionals in my area, read almost all the baby sleep books at our library and spent many (wasted) hours on the net. Here is what I've come up with:
For a baby between 4-6 months they should be getting 2-3 sleeps during the day of around 1 1/2 - 2 hours per sleep. A baby's day generally starts between 6-8am. There is a bit of a rule of thumb when creating a routine for your baby with regards to sleep. At about 5-6 months old a baby will wake for the day, be awake for approx. 2hrs. Sleep then be awake for around 3hrs. Sleep then be awake for around 4hrs. So their wake periods in the day are 2-3-4 hours. Make sense?

Ok, take that all in then I'll add this: My eldest (almost 4) was exactly like this. Loved her sleeps and still has a day sleep. My youngest. Hmm... I just put her down for a sleep and she started fussing as if she was tired after being awake for only 1/2 an hour. I was puzzled by this and thought she had a sore tummy. After dirtying her nappy I put her to bed. It generally takes me anywhere from 20 mins to an hour to get her to sleep. This time it was only 10 mins. Not all babies behave the way the books say they should!

Look for tired signs. As soon as you see a couple it's time for bed. Who cares if your baby has been awake for 20 mins or 3 hours!

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Melanie - posted on 05/05/2010

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my son for the most part sleeps through the night he wakes between 3 or 330am every night and I just make sure he's tucked back in and has a pacifier and he sleeps until about 530or 6am. He gets up eats and goes back down until 8am. At 8 he's up and ready for the day, usually goes down for a long nap 2-3 hours at 930-10ish and then gets up and goes for another nap at supper time. He then stays awake until bedtime which is about 9-930pm. Although he's on a routine somewhat, it can change occasionally and I just work with it.

Amy - posted on 05/05/2010

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my 19 week old has always slept really well, since she had her 16 week jabs she has started waking through the night, not wanting to be fed or anything... any ideas what could be wrong?

Sara - posted on 05/04/2010

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my son does not usually go down easy for naps, but is starting to find a groove. he wakes around 7am, down for a nap between 8-9am which usually lasts and hour. He needs another nap around noon or one which is best if it is two hours. He need another around 4 or 5pm for one hour and is in the tub by 7pm and asleep by 7:30. This is a good day for us, if he misses his morning nap the day can be ruined! He does not sleep through the night yet.

Valerie - posted on 05/04/2010

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I have the book, "What to Expect the First Year". It says that it does not matter how many naps they take, but that they sleep about 14 hours in a 24 hour period... I hope that helps. Also, every baby is different. I let my son set the schedule. If he's tired, I'll put him down for a nap but if he's not, I cannot force him.

Rachelle - posted on 05/04/2010

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it really depends on the baby my daughter usally takes 1 four hour nap or 2 two hour naps during the day then all night

Alison - posted on 05/04/2010

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I have a 4 1/2 month old and she still has 3 good sleeps a day and then sleep all night.

Sherri - posted on 05/04/2010

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Hi Michelle,

If you follow the examples set by the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy baby" your baby should have three naps a day. The first around 9am, then at 1pm and another in the afternoon. Some babies skip the third nap though. The times vary depending on when your baby wakes for the day though. My son wakes at 6am and is usually back down for a nap by 730am.(the book says this one should be soon after he initially wakes up and is almost a continuation of night sleep)..and he second nap usually falls around 12pm. His third nap is 3 or 330. Hope this helps!

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